DID you know The Beatles played in Anderston in 1963?

The world’s biggest pop band began a three-night mini tour of Scotland, supported by Mike Berry, and Freddy Starr and the Midnighters, at Glasgow Concert Hall.

The building was formerly Anderston’s Gaiety Cinema, originally known as the Victoria Music Hall, then the Tivoli Variety Theatre. It opened in 1899 and became a full cinema in 1935.

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Our picture, taken in January 1963 by staff photographer Arthur Kinloch, shows then Lord Provost Jean Roberts officially opening the new concert hall which was the replacement for St Andrew’s Halls, which burned down in 1962.

The Fab Four’s visit is just one of a long list of fascinating facts about the history of this famous area of Glasgow.

Glasgow Times: A postcard of Anderston Cross in 1916

Around 300 years ago, a community of handloom weavers created the village of Anderson Town on what is now the area around the Kingston Bridge.

Named after founder James Anderson, the lands – which eventually became known as Anderston – were then sold to wealthy local merchant John Orr of Barrowfield in the 1740s and became an important centre of the textile trade.

Documents held in Glasgow City Archives show that this area became an important industrial hub, home to Delftfield Pottery, the Verreville Glassworks and the Anderston Brewery (or ‘great brewery’ as it was also known) which opened in 1752.

Glasgow Times: Shops in Anderston on Main Street, 1890

The area was denoted a ‘burgh of barony’ and had its own town council. In 1846, with Argyle Street now packed with shops and houses, Anderston was absorbed back into the City of Glasgow.

In the 1960s, a comprehensive redevelopment plan demolished much of Anderston to make way for the inner ring road, to the dismay of many.

Around 114 acres were cleared for the new road and new housing.

“When it is completed,” our sister newspaper, then called The Glasgow Herald, said, “it will be a new town within the city, with its local shops as well as its department stores and supermarkets, and its local public houses, as well as a huge hotel.”

Glasgow Times: Construction on the M8 in the 1960s

Our archives are full of photographs which show the mass demolition and rebuilding which took place, such as this image of construction work on the Kingston Bridge in 1969.

Glasgow Times: The start of the Clydeside Expressway, Anderston, 1960s

This image shows the beginning of the Clydeside Expressway at North Street and Stobcross Street.

Glasgow Times: New housing being built in Anderston 1966

For some, it was exciting to watch new housing being constructed in Anderston, like this image taken in 1966 by Herald and Times staff photographer Arthur Kinloch in 1966.


Glasgow Times: Anderston Launderette in 1976

The new steamie...this picture captures the magnificent exterior of Anderston's stylish new launderette in 1976.

Glasgow Times: Anderston branch of Glasgow Savings Bank

One of the finest Anderston landmarks is the beautiful Art Nouveau building once home to the Savings Bank of Glasgow, Anderston branch, pictured here in January 1976.

It was designed by James Salmon and his partner John Gaff Gillespie, and built in 1899. (James Salmon also designed Glasgow’s famous 'Hatrack’ building on St Vincent Street.

Glasgow Times: The Pyramid at Anderston

Another famous landmark is The Pyramid, a bustling community hub with a distinctive roof and stunning interiors. Designed by Glasgow architects Honeyman, Jack and Robertson for The Church of Scotland, it was completed in 1968, as part of the redevelopment of the Anderston area.

READ NEXT: 'We aim high': The unusual venue restoring community spirit to Anderston

From 1968 to 2019 the building operated as the Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church. When the congregation numbers fell dramatically, the church merged with nearby Renfield St Stephen and, faced with losing the building altogether, the community stepped in. In 2019, The Pyramid at Anderston Trust, with the help of a grant from the Scottish Land Fund, bought the building.

Glasgow Times: St Mark's Free Church, 1848/9

Over the decades, myths and stories have swirled around Anderston’s ‘lost graveyards’. There were several churches in Anderston, include St Mark’s Free Church in Cheapside Street, pictured here in 1848 or 1849, and Anderston Old in Heddle Place.

The construction of the M8 meant churches had to be demolished and graves moved to other cemeteries in the city, including Lambhill and Linn. Over the years, claims that not all the burials were moved have led to suggestions there are still bodies buried deep in the concrete foundations of the motorway.

The rather grisly rumour that several underworld crime figures who disappeared in the 60s were offed and buried within the Kingston Bridge foundations also persists, despite no remains ever being found.

Glasgow Times: Andy Scott's distinctive mural of the Big Yin, complete with banjo

Glasgow has a number of Billy Connolly murals, but this one is a little bit different. Installed on a gable end at the bottom of Little Street in Anderston, it measures around six metres by four metres and was created using 1.5 miles of steel rods.

Artist Andy Scott was commissioned to produce the work to mark the end of phase one of Sanctuary Scotland's £50 million regeneration of Anderston. It was unveiled on November 22, 2011, and while the Big Yin did not attend, he said he was “happy and humbled” by the “unexpected honour.”

Glasgow Times: One of Glasgow's last trams from Anderston

The last regular tram service in Glasgow ran on September 1, 1962, and for the following three days a special service operated between Auchenshuggle and Anderston Cross. Pictured is one of the last trams to run in the city.

Glasgow Times: Green's barber's in Anderston

In 1923, Jack Green established a hair salon and barber’s shop at Anderston Cross (pictured here).

In the 1960s, it moved to King Street and in 2016, it sadly closed, after 93 years in business, the city’s oldest family-run barber’s.

Glasgow Times: Cheapside Street fire, 1960

One of the darkest days in Anderston’s history was March 28, 1960.

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Arbuckle, Smith & Co’s whisky bond warehouse on Cheapside Street.

The fire in the store, which was packed with millions of gallons of whisky and rum, quickly took hold, and there were fears it would spread to other buildings in the cramped and narrow streets and lanes of Anderston.

Suddenly, an explosion ripped through the warehouse, causing the walls to blow out and burying three fire engines in debris.

A total of 19 men – 14 from Glasgow Fire Service and five from Glasgow Salvage Corps – were killed in the fire, the largest peacetime loss of life suffered by the service in Britain.

The people of Glasgow lined the streets for the officers’ funeral a week later. After a public service at the cathedral, the men were buried in a vault donated by the Merchant House of Glasgow at the Necropolis. A public appeal by the Lord Provost raised more than £187,000 for the deceased officers' families.

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During the redevelopment of Anderston, one of the area’s best-known pubs was also lost - but not entirely...

The Ruxton Bar on Elderslie Street, pictured here in 1971, had been a fixture in the community since 1867.

However, it did not disappear completely – thanks to a Lanarkshire antiques dealer.

Tony Kierney bought the pub’s interior, including Victorian gantry, advertising mirrors and elegant curved bar, and sold it all to a TV studio in California...

Send us your memories of Anderston by emailing ann.fotheringham@glasgowtimes.co.uk or writing to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow G32 8FG.